Kuwait intends to place a greater emphasis on the quality of education and institutional capacity in its World Bank-aided reforms, said Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Bader Al-Essa.
Kuwait has picked the "ideal strategic partner" in the World Bank to carry out this ambitious transformation, he said at a meeting with World Bank experts in Washington, DC.
The ministry in partnership with World Bank experts have worked very closely on designing a homegrown reform program, "the most important investment Kuwait can make for its future," added the Minister.
Launched in 2010, the framework partnership between the Kuwaiti government and the World Bank aims to promote bold, systematic reform of the general education system.
The new education program goals for 2015-19 are to transform Kuwait's entire education system to one based on competence, he said, and for curriculum-focused reform to be implemented across all 12 grades of general education.
The Minister went on to underline that "Kuwait needs to deeply analyze its current situation in terms of Early Childhood Development and inclusive education."
The Educational Reform Program in Kuwait encompasses the introduction of a competence-based curriculum across general education; developing a conducive environment for effective teaching; enabling schools to be active centers of learning; and strengthening systems for enhanced accountability and evidence-based decision-making.
One of the great successes of the program to date has been the development and roll-out of a competence-based curriculum in grades 1, 2 and 6.
This process, led by local experts with technical assistance from the World Bank, has resulted in a nationalized curriculum that provides a balance of national values and traditions combined with international best-practice in curriculum design.
On the other hand, the World Bank's Practice Manager for Eastern Europe and Asia, Cristian Aedo stated that "4.5 percent of Kuwait's GDP is spent on education."
Kuwait also has the highest paid teachers in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, and probably in the world, added Dr. Ayesha Vawda, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank Group.
"But outcomes are low, so there is lots of room to improve efficiency of the system," according to Aedo.